No [insert group here] need apply

It wasn’t pretty. “White only.” “No Irish need apply.” “Japs go home.”

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While  we flatter ourselves to think that these shameful episodes in our country’s history are now a thing of the past, discrimination in many aspects of life continues. While more subtly than in years past, blacks and hispanics continue to fight discrimination in the workplace, in the housing market, and in social situations. Women and the gay[1] community are discriminated against constantly and openly.  People with excess weight are treated like pariahs.  Mormons are routinely pilloried by the media with seeming impunity. Despite the ADA, people with disabilities[2] still find barriers everywhere in society and individuals and companies who don’t give a rat’s South-4o. In fact, “-isms” are so rampant in our society that there are hardly enough nouns to cover them all. Oh, and there’s one more that employers might just as well hang out these days:

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Just try looking for work and being close to retirement age. It’s like you’re an invisible leper with terminal halitosis.

No, all is not lost. Public awareness continues to grow.  It’s better than it was. But let no one think we live in “lamp beside the golden door” egalitarian society that the picture books talk about. In this country, some animals are definitely more equal than others.

Ever notice how the roaches scurry for cover when you flick the light on? That’s our strongest weapon. Shining the bright light of exposure into the dark corners of intolerance. Keep fighting the good fight, and our children and their children will have a better world than we do.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


[1] “Gay” in this context is a portmanteau for “not straight”. GLBTAlphabetSoup is just getting too complex for my poor brain.

[2] Give it a rest. They’re disabled, but not “less than.” I don’t put stock in political correctness for its own sake.

4 responses to “No [insert group here] need apply

  1. Dunno about employment (because what would I know about employment these days?), but those with traditional Catholic beliefs are always fair game, too. Also fundamentalists. Good thing that the mainstream media is unaware that charismatics are still around, and some of them (gasp!) look and act like real people! (That last bit was sarcastic. Charismatics are, of course, real people.)

    And that’s just what I thought of in the time it took to type this. There’s more, oh, so much more. If we bring all of it into the light and examine it, we’ll probably see that each of us has at least one unreasonable bias.

  2. Interestingly, some people prefer to hire people with disabilities for some jobs, such as janitorial work or washing dishes. They say they will do the job very well, be on time, and not quit at the drop of a hat. Much more reliable than the sort of persons they hired in the past. But, yes, in general, too many discriminatory practices continue.

  3. Pingback: Which America Do You Want? | Playing in the World Game

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